Balancing personal life with school!
Sierra College, Rocklin, California
I know from personal experience that if you do not balance your personal life with school, it simply does not work. During the Summer I spent just above every minute of my life either working or doing school work, and by Sunday I felt like I was literally going insane. And crazy as it sounds, by Sunday I was anticipating going back to school just to get away from all the actual homework and boredom of sitting at home. I felt like I was going insane. That's why I feel it is a very important point that Dr. Phillip Rosenkrantz brought up about balance. Without balance, you will lose focus of school. You will lose focus of why you are doing what you're doing, what's important in your life, and why you care.
In his 'how-to' article, he covers just above every part of being successful in education, from scheduling your classes to being a successful tester. I especially enjoyed his advice on taking notes, as I am a horrible note taker myself. As he points out, Math, Science and Engineering majors are certainly not the type of classes you can "cram" for, so in order to succeed you need to have a definitive plan, and Dr. Rosenkrantz gives all the tools you'll ever need to help make that plan work.
Isaac Jackson, College Junior
University of Alaska, Fairbanks
This was a good resource, however, it did not just pertain to engineering. The part about pre-planning could be used by anyone in any degree program. The only part that was about engineering was when it talked about the different classes that needed to be taken. Overall this is a good resource and will help in coming freshman learn how to plan out their time and know the amount of time need to succeed.
Nehad Dababo, College Sophomore
Canada College, Redwood City, CA
I personally enjoyed seeing a Three step Phase to help students guide their way around the work life of school. The two things specifically are phase 1-"Planning" and phase 2-"Outside class activities". Dr.Rosenkratz recommends planning your curriculum a year ahead of time, which I found was more then just picking what classes you are going to take, but also means going ahead and trouble shooting the issues you are going to have with schedule of work and class and where to study.
There is also mentioning of the Cornell note taking system, which is what I used all through out High School and up until now. I like how Rosenkratz develops a time frame of how to use the Cornell System more effectively. This is definitely something I was able to immediatley envision and pick up, on account of I use it all the time.
Another thing I found important is learning how to Study and work outside of class, for the influence the environment can play on us has a lot to do with how we stay focused in class. Learning to discipline yourself so that your studies are your number one priority can be hard but surely after you get used to it, you realize the decision you make is the best for you. Learning to make the right decisions when the time is right is crucial, and that's something that definitely comes to mind in the review.
Engineering Study Skills
Elliott C Kramer, HS Junior
Ghidotti Early College High School, Grass Valley, CA
The many techniques in this article taught me a lot about how I could be improving my schooling experience. I've never had particularly organized methods to studying or note-taking, and from this I learned many things that I'm doing wrong or could be doing better. My methods have worked fine so far, but I can see how I would have more free time and be able to have a more balanced life by following more of these methods.
The biggest thing I need to work on is planning. The suggested idea of charting out each week and knowing how much time is needed for work, school, family time, etc. would be immensely helpful. I've traditionally taken events as they come and hope I'll have the time to get all my schoolwork done. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't, but if I had actually planned everything out I would be sure to be more consistent with success. I will definitely be applying these strategies to math-related courses, but also to any other subjects that could benefit from it.
Michael Clemens, College Sophomore
Valparaiso University, Valparaiso, Indiana
Throughout his article, Dr. Phillip Rosenkrantz effectively introduces key ideas that will benefit any engineering student on their journey towards a degree. One important key concept that I want to stress in his article is understanding your learning style. Knowing your learning style will allow you to successfully learn all of the material that you will have to as an engineering student. College for the most part is strictly auditory learning where instructors will lecture in front of a classroom for an hour or so. If you are a visual learner, this format of teaching will be quite difficult for you to understand the material being presented. Perhaps the textbook will have graphs and figures that will help convey the material or perhaps a video on YouTube will come to the aid while learning the material. Both of these sources including numerous others are good for visual learners as you actually get to see the concepts being presented rather than just listening to an instructor talk about the ideas.
I just wanted to stress the importance of figuring out your learning style as soon as possible when it comes to college. This will not only help you in the long run for a career, but will also save you countless hours while attempting to learn the concepts of your courses.
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